Last week, we met with councillors and council officers to discuss a planning brief update. Disappointingly, despite council officers being keen to point out that they have listened to results of the consultation, we were presented with the same document we saw years ago, with some added pink sight lines from Historic England. The fields will still be cut to less than a third of their current size and there is no movement on selling less of the fields. The council’s plan is to sell the whole site to developers and leave greenspace in their hands – leasing back our own public land to us.
Councillors Pauleen Grahame and Peter Gruen were in attendance, and expressed broad support for losing less of the fields and dismay at the uncertainty the outline plan perpetuates.
Here are Kate’s notes, sent to the mailing list (if you’re not on it and would like to be, drop a note to the Friends’ mailing list).
Please find attached a copy of the document that was handed out at last Tuesday’s meeting regarding plans for development at Red Hall. There was a “round table” discussion of the issues raised with councillors and planning officers. They were keen to emphasize that this document doesn’t set out a “masterplan” (that comes later) and that it sits alongside other guidance documents.
The document doesn’t state the total number of houses planned for Red Hall but Mark Mills from the Planning Department tells me that the total is likely to be 350 – 300 units on the nursery site and 50 on the playing field.
Mark Mills also talked about the relationship between the listed buildings and any future development. Historic England’s position is that having sensitive areas doesn’t mean that you can’t have development, but that there should be extra care taken to ensure that key views and open spaces are preserved.
The playing field greenspace area would be reduced to one third of what it is now – mainly the area to the front of the house (currently fenced off).
The document gives the impression that Red Hall Lane will become a through road to the Outer Ring Road. Councillor Gruen stated “A through road would be a total disaster”. He also said that he personally would be prepared to see more houses behind the house (ie. on the nursery site) and fewer on the playing field.
The walking route through Red Hall Wood to Roundhay Park will be conserved as will the current footpath across the field – although again these are not totally clear from this document.
Peter Gruen also said that he would like to see not simply what he called a “gated community” but also provision for the elderly such as bungalows – which might be suitable on Red Hall Playing Field itself.
In the short term, the site will be vacated and cleared next year. I asked for more information about plans to secure the site and Peter Gruen supported that call – so hopefully we’ll get that soon.
If anybody has any questions or concerns, do email the Planning Department firstname.lastname@example.org